One local NBC journalist made waves on social media during her coverage of Hurricane Ian because of a practical measure she took to protect the network's broadcasting equipment.
On Tuesday, while NBC2 news reporter Kyla Galer was out covering the hurricane on location in Fort Myers along the southwestern coast of Florida, viewers noticed that her microphone was covered with something, ostensibly to protect it from rain and moisture from the storm.
Shortly after, people began inquiring about the makeshift microphone cover, ABC7 news anchor Jeff Butera confessed the truth: It was a condom.
"** WE PRACTICE SAFE HURRICANE REPORTING ** Yes, it's a condom," Butera tweeted on Wednesday. "Nothing better to waterproof a microphone. My Waterman Broadcasting colleague @kylagaler has been fielding lots of questions, haha. Moment of levity in this nasty storm... #HurricaneIan."
Galer likewise confirmed the reporting via Instagram Story, which Hard Factor News then shared on Twitter.
**Warning: potential graphic content**
"A lot of people are asking what is on my microphone. It is what you think it is," Galer told her Instagram audience. "It’s a condom. It helps protect the gear. You can’t get these mics wet. There’s a lot of wind and a lot of rain, so we got to do what we got to do and that is put a condom on the microphone."
Galer and her colleagues were smart to take the extra precaution. Ian, currently a Category 4 but nearing a Category 5 hurricane, has reportedly come barreling through the Florida coast with winds over 150 MPH and storm surges of up to a record 18 feet. The City of Fort Myers was under evacuation orders, but officials say that it is now no longer safe to leave.
As of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 450,000 Floridians had already lost power, and police, fire fighters, and other first responders are preparing for significant structural damage.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R) warned that Wednesday and Thursday would "be a nasty nasty ... two days" for the people of Florida.
Ian made landfall at 2:24 p.m. EST on Wednesday.